Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats



and was finally claimed to be a monopoly for the export
of silk from Persia. The civil war in England, which
occurred at this period, naturally reacted unfavourably
on the English position in Persia, where Shah Abbas and
his nobles resented deeply the execution of Charles I.
In the eighteenth century the situation changed: Holland,
which had sacrificed everything to a monopoly of the
spice trade, lost nearly all her colonial possessions in Asia
to Great Britain, and her flag finally disappeared from the
Persian Gulf.
The French.—France was the latest power to approach
Persia from the south. She effected little until 1664, when
Colbert, the great minister who strove so hard to expand
the foreign relations of his country, despatched an embassy
to Shah Abbas II. This mission had a friendly reception,
although it was felt that Persia had been slighted because
the envoys were not men of higher rank. Trading rights
similar to those conceded to other nations and immunity
from taxation and customs for three years were granted
in a farman, and upon the strength of these privileges
factories were established &t Isfahan and at Bandar Abbas.
In 1708 Louis XIV. concluded.a treaty with Shah Sultan
Husayn, and the French traded with Persia until the
Afghan invasion, after which they withdrew. During
the reign of Karim Khan the island of Kharak was ceded
to the French ; but it was never occupied, the French East
India Company being at that period suppressed. Finally,
during the short-lived period of French ascendancy at
the Court of Fath AH Shah in 1807-8 Kharak was again
ceded, but with the expulsion of the French embassy
from Persia in 1809 this cession was annulled.
The Embassy of Sir Dodmore Cotton to Shah Abbas^ A.D.
1627.—Among the far-reaching results of the capture of
Hormuz by the two allies was the change it brought
about in the commercial policy of Persia. As already
mentioned, the Shah was mainly interested in the silk
trade, and although Sir Robert Sherley had failed in his
first mission to arrange for the export of the commodity
via Hormuz, the Persian monarch by no means gave up
the project. The expulsion of the Portuguese from the